How to Create the Coziest Home Ever, on a Budget

Serious hibernation will ensue.

Updated 09/25/19
Courtesy of Robson Rak

For all the frigid months ahead when weekends spent indoors nesting sound highly appealing, creating a cozy home becomes a primary focus. Maybe you'll agree: Nothing makes winter more enjoyable than bundling up in a luxe throw blanket, with a cup of tea in hand, and relishing in a fragrant scented candle with a good book or a Netflix binge session. Unfortunately, while we're busy crossing off dozens of presents on our holiday shopping list, maybe flitting from social gathering to social gathering, and getting our homes ready for entertaining season, our wallets aren't exactly flush with cash for redecorating during this time of year.

Luckily, there are many small tricks you can implement in a cinch that can make your home feel extra cozy, without shelling out a ton of cash. That's why we put together a list of 11 easy ways to make the place you live the coziest, comfiest winter cave ever—without breaking the bank. The only downside to these tips? You might never be able to leave for work again… Don't say we didn't warn you! Scroll down now to see what we mean.

01 of 11

Add a Fluffy Throw

Cozy Home Ideas: A faux-fur throw draped on a white accent chair
Courtesy of Robson Rak

A throw blanket feels incredibly luxurious. Whether these snuggly accents are placed on the back of a chair, draped over the arm of a sofa, or even layered over a footstool, the plush texture screams "high end" while providing warmth—aesthetically and in reality. Retailers like CB2 and World Market often have faux-fur blankets for less, or consider throws by Area; they're made with 100 percent baby alpaca.

To lift the look of your room, choose a throw with a pop of color or a fun pattern.

On a similar note, throws make excellent housewarming gifts

Icelandic Sheepskin Throw by CB2
CB2 Icelandic Sheepskin Throw $249
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02 of 11

Light a Few Candles

Cozy Home Tips: Two candles on a side table
Nicole Franzen

Candleholders, votives, or even simple white pillar candles in various sizes make a home feel cozier by creating a warm ambiance; group them in clusters for this effect. They are the ultimate mood setter, and they’re available in a range of price points. We're fans of these 11 candles, including from Diptyque, Joya, and Otherland.

03 of 11

Decorate With Books

Cozy Home Advice: Books and other reading materials on an open shelf
Courtesy of Max Humphrey

Books are an incredibly affordable décor trick for making a home cozier, as they can be purchased en masse without breaking the bank and lend your space the collected feel of a library. Hit up garage and estate sales in your area, and keep in mind that many local schools often hold book sales around the holidays, during which old hardcover books can be snatched up in dollar bins.

To style them, "Stagger the heights of books, vases, and picture frames and try to group in odd numbers," interior designer Jeremiah Brent told MyDomaine in a previous interview. Playing with size and scale curates an interesting arrangement, according to Brent.

Booth & Williams Midcentury Yellow Book Wall $1000 $499
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04 of 11

Try Floor Pillows as Extra Seating

Cozy Home: Two patterned, square floor pillows in front of a fireplace
Nicole Franzen

Moroccan and similar poufs are far less-expensive seating options than chairs and sofas, and project a laid-back and inviting vibe. The cushy pieces close to the ground beckon guests to gather around for a relaxing affair, versus the harder lines of more traditional seating options.

More ottomans, stools, and bohemian to contemporary floor seats this way.

05 of 11

Embrace the Undone Linen Look

Easy Cozy Home Tips: Undone linens in an airy bedroom
Courtesy of Robson Rak

No need to shell out thousands of dollars on your bedding—by embracing the undone look that's characteristic to vintage linen, you can create an inviting bed that won't break the bank. Bonus: Linen is a durable fabric that will last far longer than your average cotton sheets, so you'll only have to buy them once.

However, take note of Parachute Home founder Ariel Kaye's advice on how often to wash your sheets ("every seven to ten days,") and tips for extending the life of your linens ("use less detergent than the manufacturer's recommendation.")

For some comparison shopping of your own, read what our editors had to say about the various bedding brands on the market.

Parachute Linen Venice Set $359-$459
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06 of 11

Upgrade With Paint

Easy Cozy Home Ideas: Darkly painted fireplace
Nicole Franzen

A can of paint is one of the most cost-savvy ways to transform a room. Though white walls have their place, the airy Scandinavian look isn't the warmest aesthetic. Instead, deep, dark colors like black, slate-gray, green, burgundy, and navy, together with layered textures like faux fur and velvet, evoke the feeling of a cozy hideaway. Try painting your white room—or even just your trim or fireplace—in a dark tone for winter, and tell us it doesn't instantly get cozier.

Alternatively, if you're trying to maximize every bit of natural light (especially in smaller spaces) experts say to consider paint and decorative objects (like mirrors) with reflective qualities.

07 of 11

Introduce New Artwork

Easy Cozy Home Advice: A collage of artwork adorns a white wall
Courtesy of Max Humphrey

You know what doesn't scream cozy? Sparse walls. Nothing makes a home feel more lived-in and personal than walls covered in a collection of art and photographs. Thankfully it's easy to cover your surroundings with interesting visuals without spending much, like old movie posters at flea markets to the multitude of online sources for surprisingly inexpensive art (such as these curated picks of uplifting prints.) 

Gia Coppola McDonalds $110
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08 of 11

Incorporate Reclaimed Wood

Easy Cozy Home Updates: Wooden elements warm up a space
Nicole Franzen

Wooden pieces, be they a footstool, a bench, or a side table—especially when paired with the aforementioned items—evoke the feeling of a ski lodge. If wood pieces aren't in your budget, a basket or pile of artfully arranged chopped wood feels just as impactful, even if you don’t have a fireplace to burn it in.

09 of 11

Warm Up Cold Floors

Braided wool rug by Parachute defines living room with dark couch, marble coffee table and large, hung round mirror

Courtesy of Parachute 

When the weather begins to cool, opt for a rug with more material, like a braided or textured wool rug. If a giant area rug isn't in the budget, layer smaller rugs in select spots—as a soft landing next to the bed, beneath the coffee table, in front of a reading chair, for example.

10 of 11

Dim the Lights

Dim lighting and wood paneled walls in a sparsely decorated bedroom

 PERNILLE LOOF / TRUNK ARCHIVE

Install warm-toned LED lights to mimic an inviting, candle-lit glow that will keep you alert before bedtime in winter months, without the harshness of overhead lighting.

11 of 11

Swap Your Window Treatments

Floor length white curtains frame a window in a bedroom

BROOKE HOLM / TRUNK ARCHIVE

Sheer, linen curtains keep things light and airy in warmer weather, though for winter, consider swapping them for heavier material that includes a thermal lining for extra insulation.

Once you've optimized your space for warmth and comfort, make the most of it with these additional home-y ideas:

  • Host an indoor soiree with these nine brandy cocktails; like Chai Eggnog, and a Bittersweet Sparkler
  • Settle in to your favorite chair to journal, finish that scrapbook, or take a nap (you deserve it!)
  • And while we're big fans of nesting and self-care, remember not to get cooped up for too long. Experts say that even just 20 minutes in nature can do the mind and body good

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